CEOs see auto, ICT, finance sectors as top growth picks
Thai CEOs are confident that the country's 2013 economic growth will be at least as good as last year's level and that the automobile, information and communica-tions technology, and financial sectors will be the star performers.However, chief executives will focus on cost reduction and improving production efficiency to deal with rising costs, according to the monthly "CEO Sentiment Survey" jointly conducted by Krungthep Turakij newspaper and Dhurakij Pundit University's research centre.
The survey on economic trends and firms' business adjustment this year was conducted on 251 executives between November 25 and December 20.
The CEOs estimate that their companies' profits this year will grow by 4 per cent on average.
They also said medium-sized and large companies were ready to expand into countries with high potential, namely Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and China.
They forecast that the Thai economy will expand by 4.6 per cent this year, while the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index will post highs and lows of 1,412 and 1,178 points respectively. Half of the respondents saw a bright outlook for the economy this year, while 80 per cent believed growth would be no lower than last year's level.
They also ranked the automobile, ICT and financial sectors as the top three rising stars this year, thanks to the benefits of the first-car-buyer scheme on the auto and banking sectors, and the upcoming introduction of full third-generation service in the telecom sector this year.
When asked about the key factors helping to improve their profitability this year, 45.3 per cent of the CEOs cited rising demand, 25.3 per cent identified cost reduction, followed by business restructuring (12.6 per cent), the use of ICT (8.4 per cent) and an increase in sales prices (3.1 per cent). As to the main factors likely to affect profitability, 62.7 per cent cited rising business costs.
They also ranked Thai economic conditions top among five factors likely to influence their business, followed by demand, the shortage of skilled labour, the local political situation, and the cost of raw materials.